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Financial leaks Pandora Papers reveal City boss Guardiola failed to declare offshore bank account

The Manchester City manager is said to have kept almost €585,000 in an Andorran bank account, which remained open while he was manager at Barcelona

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, right, remonstrates with the fourth official during Sunday's game against Liverpool. Photo: Peter Powell/Reuters

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, right, remonstrates with the fourth official during Sunday's game against Liverpool. Photo: Peter Powell/Reuters

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, right, remonstrates with the fourth official during Sunday's game against Liverpool. Photo: Peter Powell/Reuters

Pep Guardiola failed to declare to Spanish authorities that he had opened an offshore bank account while playing in Qatar, according to the Pandora Papers leaks.

The Manchester City manager is said to have kept almost £500,000 (€585,000) in an Andorran bank account, which remained open while he was manager at Barcelona.

El Pais and LaSexta in Spain claim he opened the offshore account to deposit wages from his two years playing for Al Ahli, where he was being paid in the region of £1.7 million a year from 2003 to 2005.

However, it is claimed he waited until 2012, when a tax amnesty was announced in Spain following the global financial crisis, to declare the offshore funds, five years into his return at Barcelona.

“Until that point, the coach of Manchester City had not declared the funds held in the account to the Spanish Tax Agency,” reported El Pais, which was among organisations given access to the files from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Guardiola is said to have set up the Andorran account through a shell company called Repox Investments.

There is no allegation of legal wrongdoing by Guardiola, whose legal adviser, Lluis Orobitg, has stated the account was opened due to the “impossibility of obtaining a residence certificate in Qatar, where he would not have to pay tax”.

Guardiola, he added, did not deposit the funds in Spain because his accountant feared that, without a residency permit in Qatar, the Spanish Tax Agency “could object to him filing his tax returns as an expatriate when in reality he played and lived in Qatar”.

The Pandora Papers detail how a host of world leaders and famous names use accounts in tax havens to accrue huge amounts of wealth and carry out transactions. Other sporting figures listed include Carlo Ancelotti, Angel Di Maria and Sachin Tendulkar.

Manchester City were contacted for comment.

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Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]


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